Last week I was talking to my very wise cousin Scott. He called to wish us good luck on our journey and reminded me that the first rule of life on the road is flexibility. Things don’t often go the way you think they will. More often than not, things WILL NOT go the way you think they will. Well, it appears we are learning that rule of the road even before we officially get on the road.
Last week we had a great plan in place. On Tuesday we would move into the Airstream. On Wednesday we would move out of our condo, putting all the things we decided to keep into storage. On Thursday we would clean our condo, do our last few errands and say a few goodbyes. And on Friday, June 15th, we would leave Chicago and start our journey west, heading first to St. Louis for the weekend. In St. Louis we would meet up with my brother to explore the city and watch the Cubs play the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. That was the plan. It was a good plan and we felt excited and ready. We felt stressed as a lot needed to get done, but we felt good. We felt ready. Ah the best laid plans…….
So Tuesday ended up being a very bad day. Justin had ordered a new toilet and new water heater for the Airstream that he was going to install on Tuesday morning before we moved all our things into the Airstream. Once we unpacked the boxes, we soon discovered neither toilet nor water heater fit! The rest of the morning was spent on the phone attempting to return these items, find the correct replacements and have them shipped in order to get to us in time. No small feat.
But then the day got even worse. We had heard a knocking sound in the front of our truck for the past few days and decided it was worth taking it in to the nearest dealership to have it checked out. After spending almost two hours on the expressway in traffic getting back into the city (I am SO OVER this traffic!), I dropped Justin and the kids off at home to finish packing for our move into storage the next day and starting driving the truck to the nearest Dodge dealership. I was about four blocks from our house, going about twenty miles an hour, when the front passenger tire literally flew off the truck. Yep, you read that right. The tire literally rolled off the truck as I was driving it and I drove about the length of a store front on my tire rim in an effort to pull to the side of the road. My tire rolled into a parked car and thank God the lovely gentleman in the car was okay. He also returned my tire to me. Of the five lug nuts on our truck wheel, on two remained. The other three had sheered right off! We have damage to the bumper, the fender, the passenger door and the wheel axel, etc. Enjoy these photos of the calamity.
After about a three hour wait for the tow truck, it was towed to the nearest Dodge dealership, and NOT the dealership in which we purchased the truck. They couldn’t believe that the wheel had just come right off, which is really the general feeling of everyone who hears this story! Upon their checking, it appears all the tires of our truck were loose. From what we can surmise, the dealership in which we purchased the truck must have rotated the tires at some point prior to selling to us and failed to screw the tires in tight enough. After driving the truck for almost three weeks like this, I guess the strain was too much and one tire just plum flew right off! What is strange is that I didn’t feel any shaking of the truck or any difficulty driving it leading up to the “incident”. No warning really, just this knocking sound that we had heard. The whole thing was rather scary and I thank God that this had not happened on the expressway, or who knows how horrible this story would end!
So, we are delayed in leaving Chicago for a week while our truck is getting fixed! We delayed our move into storage, which means we are now “camping” in our own home, considering 99% of our things are either packed in boxes or in the Airstream. We hope to move into storage this upcoming Wednesday, get our truck back on Thursday and depart for Colorado on Friday. That’s the new plan. It’s a good plan. And hopefully things will go according to plan this time. But we are quickly learning the main rules of the road….. embrace change, be flexible, take your time. Justin and I have a renewed sense of purpose that safety always comes first. We were all okay, but we are a bit shaken up and need to pay better attention to things when they seem amiss. We need to remember that just because we made a plan does not mean it will actually go that way. And we shouldn’t be so arrogant to assume that it will. Instead, we just need to learn to quickly adapt to whatever new hiccup comes our way.
So, we quickly made a new plan. We decided to go to St. Louis anyway and enjoy the time with my brother, the Arch and the Cubs. We stayed in a hotel instead of a campground, and drove a rental car instead of our truck and Airstream, and we had a wonderful time! Getting away from the stress of moving gave us a renewed energy for the big trip. The new parts for the Airstream have arrived and we think, hope and pray that this time everything will fit! We have been given a few more days in Chicago to get our life in order and get prepared physically and mentally to take on this new life on the road. So as much as I wish none of these calamities had befallen us, we learned some very important lessons and got into a better place mentally for this journey ahead.